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Need Rap/street slang in screenplay

It's kinda embarrassing question. Along with my Sci-Fi story, I'm writing a screenplay about a rap singer. I don't live in US, and I don't know people from there, so nobody can help me with the Afro-american slang. And that's important. I know a few things of course, but there's a black character who talks much, so I need him to be like a real guy from the hood. Where can I get slang idioms or something like that? I wanna make it real.
 
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It's kinda embarrassing question. Along with my Sci-Fi story, I'm writing a screenplay about a rap singer. I don't live in US, and I don't know people from there, so nobody can help me with the negro people slang. And that's important. I know a few things of course, but there's a black character who talks much, so I need him to be like a real guy from the hood. Where can I get slang idioms or something like that? I wanna make it real.


It would probably help as a start if you didn't use the phrase "negro people". I can see a lot of the people whose help you need being quite offended by that.
 
I would advise you to listen to A LOT of rap songs and Urban Dictionary all the words you don't understand.
Try to listen to the sub-genre of rap you want your character to be a part of, rateyourmusic can help you define what genre you want your character to belong to and find music/slang that fits.
Also this might help you some:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMeFcVHNT1Q
 
That to me is pc hogwash...to be frank, I have nothing against anyone based on race or anything else, nor do I think any race is better then another.

BUT if a black kid wants to rap about white guys, does he not use the word "cracker" in case we are all amazingly offended. No, he writes that in without too much thought.

And I don't think that the kid who uses that word is trying to put down an entire skin colour of people, I think he uses it because thats the slang of the day.

Quintin Tarantino has been slammed before for using the word 'nigger' in his 'Django' movie...and he defended it saying "That was the way they spoke, it was authentic for the time" It doesn't mean he would use that word to describe the next African American that comes his way, or the many African Americans that were in that movie, it was just using the authentic wording for the time.

If I wrote a modern film I would use language that is authentic. If I wrote for instance that a white guy breaks into a wealthy looking home. And he is heard by the home owner who comes down, sneaks up and drops him. He rolls over and he is looking up at a black guy holding a gun aimed at his head. The black guy says "don't you dare move you thieving bastard"
The white guy staring up at him full of hate replies "shoot me if you have the balls you god dammed nigger" The white guy then tries to reach up and knock the gun away from the black guy, and the white guy gets shot.

Whats the white guy meant to say here..."shoot me if you have the balls you god dammed African American"...authenticity is key, and if roles were reversed I would have no problem writing that as the black guy on the ground looking up at the white guy calling him a cracker head, whitey, guero, honkey...whatever fits the scene.

To be clear, I wouldn't make a movie where every black guy in it is called a derogatory term, unless I'm making a movie about a skin head for instance, the word should only be used where that word would normally be used. But the fact that the character uses that word helps paint that character as a bad guy, it shows his mindset, for me, if it fits the scene authentically I would use it.

The other point is target audience. Obviously I'm not going to think its ok for a 9 year old to watch a movie with such language in it, so there should be an age restriction on the film, 18+ for instance and a warning that the film contains inappropriate language etc not suitable for a younger audience.
 
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try Urban Dictionary...it's full of slang language...just don't use the ''n" word!!

I don't think it would be remotely possible to write an authentic story about a character from the hood that involves hiphop to avoid the N word.
 
FFS and Maz are correct. Movies aren't vestibules for political correctness. They are a reflection of contemporary society.

To the OP, "Negro" was a term the black community used to describe themselves (as was "Black" and "Colored" at different points). The only reason I bring this up is that if you are using the word "negro" you are about five decades behind the times.

I know you are new to script writing. ...Do you really think you can pull off a spot-on screenplay about the "brothas in da hood" based on your geographic location and background? How able would a gang banger from the streets of Detroit be able to accurately depict daily life on the streets of Israel in a movie script?

This is one of those situations where it would probably be better to have a collaboration of writers and include one who is up on the rap jargon and hood talk.

Ya know, you're over there in Israel. You're surrounded by countries who hate you based on their religion. The United States is unfortunately abandoning you as an ally. Iran want to annihilate you with nuclear weapons. ...You mean to tell me there's not an excellent movie script just waiting to be written based on your situation?

-Birdman
 
Ya know, you're over there in Israel. You're surrounded by countries who hate you based on their religion. The United States is unfortunately abandoning you as an ally. Iran want to annihilate you with nuclear weapons. ...You mean to tell me there's not an excellent movie script just waiting to be written based on your situation?

-Birdman

Birdman is right...there are a hundred and one hood movies which is fine but you are in a unique position to write an Israeli story from the eyes of a homeless Israeli kid, or worker, or soldier, or mother, or brother etc etc. I would far prefer to watch that story then another hood story. Don't get me wrong, I like US hood films, some of the British ones like Kidulthood are also well worth mentioning.

But an authentic Israeli story has not been touched upon nearly as much and would give me the viewer something fresh. I like fresh.
 
Ya know, you're over there in Israel. You're surrounded by countries who hate you based on their religion. The United States is unfortunately abandoning you as an ally. Iran want to annihilate you with nuclear weapons. ...You mean to tell me there's not an excellent movie script just waiting to be written based on your situation?

-Birdman

Screenwriting in Israel... Well, there are 10, maybe 20 writers in all the country. I don't think more is needed. And I'm Russian. There are no Russian screenwriters in Israel, and I doubt there will be. Oh, and Hebrew is very difficult for any kind of writing. It doesn't have caps, and it goes from right to left. English is more convenient, and it's one of the easiest languages in the world(!).

I could write to Russian cinema, but they make good dramas and crime movies. All other genres fail. Especially Sci-Fi. And I doubt they'll accept scripts from outside of Russia.

And if you mean writing to Hollywood... well, they make movies that all the world wants to see. Does the world interested in Israeli characters?

That's why I prefer to write about US characters. When I did Sci-Fi, it was kinda easier, because most of the characters are from different world. And even those who are not - they are not from any specific culture.

Why I chose to write about a Rap singer? I simply had a good idea. It's about a guy who cheats the world to become a rapper in a very unique way. So he is afraid being exposed and fights his inner conflict of guilt for achieving a goal not in a righteous way.
 
But an authentic Israeli story has not been touched upon nearly as much and would give me the viewer something fresh. I like fresh.

Dunno. I need to generate a really good idea then.
What if I connect the two? The Rap and something Israeli?
There are no "hoods" in Israel, but many people who try to be Rappers
 
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Nobody said to write the Israeli film in Israeli...write it in English by all means.

Didn't realize you were writing to sell. In that case, the advice changes from my
perspective to become...

Perhaps you would be better writing a film that you personally want to direct.
It is my understanding (which is formed only on posts I have seen here) that
writing a script to sell is doable, but selling it is almost impossible.
 
Nobody said to write the Israeli film in Israeli...write it in English by all means.

Didn't realize you were writing to sell. In that case, the advice changes from my
perspective to become...

Perhaps you would be better writing a film that you personally want to direct.
It is my understanding (which is formed only on posts I have seen here) that
writing a script to sell is doable, but selling it is almost impossible.

I'll be glad to make it myself, not to sell, but I need money and people for that. Currently I'm going to be a co-director of a 20 min Israeli Sci-Fi. I dunno what will come out of this, but the road to becoming a professional director or producer seems more difficult than Screenwriting.
 
I'll be glad to make it myself, not to sell, but I need money and people for that. Currently I'm going to be a co-director of a 20 min Israeli Sci-Fi. I dunno what will come out of this, but the road to becoming a professional director or producer seems more difficult than Screenwriting.

What you need to make a film is controlled by what the film is.

I have made films before where it was me, 1 crappy camera, and a tripod.
It didn't work well but that was because my camera was crappy which is why
I never released it. The film itself was ok.

My advice would be this. If you really want to write a film and make it yourself.
Look at what you can, and cannot achieve, and write a film that fits in with that.

Finding people is not so hard. Finding money for the camera, audio, lighting, and editing gear can
be done on a budget. You would be surprised at what you personally could achieve if you set your mind
to considering the issues, and overcoming them.
 
And if you mean writing to Hollywood... well, they make movies that all the world wants to see. Does the world interested in Israeli characters?

You must not be keeping up on current events? (LINKY)

"A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers"

This was a great movie based on characters in India.

I don't care if you have two hundred script writers living right next door to you. That doesn't matter. The only one that matters is YOU! Write the screenplay and enter contest after contest after contest. MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN!

But you'd better write a totally killer screenplay ...or I'll fly over there and kick your ass!:yes:

-Birdman
 
Write about what you know about. Don't write stories about locations and people you have no idea about... you'll come off as ignorant. Not that I'm criticizing you, I couldn't write a story about Israeli characters if my life depended on it. Write what you know... feel comfortable about what you're writing.

Find people near you that can shoot your film. Trust me, unknown screenwriters in the US struggle all the time... actually, few-to-none actually make it. Seeing your geographical disadvantages, I think it's fair to say that you'd struggle greatly trying to sell your script. So either find people near you to make your films, or make it yourself.
 
How could I forget about Slumdog Millionaire? :)

Will it help better if I first build myself a portfolio, working on other people's projects? Co-writer, co-director, co-producer?
 
I don't think we can really give you any sensible advice without knowing more about your character. One of the difficulties is that African American vernacular is varied, as is the vernacular of white and other Americans.

Let's take Tarantino. Sure, Tarantino has gotten away with making movies full of the "n" word for years or for decades. So have a few other filmmakers to a lesser degree, usually in portrayals of Italian or Irish American gangsters. But based on my experience, I would say that Tarantino has not gotten away with portraying African Americans speaking like African Americans from the hood speak. He, like most everyone else, if not everyone else, has not dared to try it. And he likely has no interest in doing so. Instead, he has Samuel Jackson speaking the way Tarantino speaks, only, as if Tarantino were a black man...a really coool black man.

Actually, and naturally enough, all of Tarantino's characters speak more-or-less like Tarantino himself speaks, only with some subtle nuances to differentiate them. Sort of. Basically, he has his African American characters use the "n" word and the "f" word a lot. In Django, his evil white slave holders use the "n" word a lot, too. Sure, that's authentic enough. But it's a somewhat superficial representation. But, to go deeper, to get more authentic, would be politically incorrect and probably unsellable and un producible.

PBS recently aired this: American Experience: Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth

Alice Walker took a lot of shit for The Color Purple --from African Americans. Forget Tarantino. Alice Walker really made a virtue of authenticity. And, I may be mistaken, part of that, I take it, or suspect, was giving her characters the authentic African American language she knew them to speak. And she's a Pulitzer Prize winning African American writer. Something to consider, if we're really committed to authenticity...authencity that's actually authentic. Or, maybe the hostility was just about the portrayal of abusive behavior.

Anyway, without checking into it myself, I'll bet there are interviews with rappers on YouTube. That might do ya fine for your purposes. Pick up what you need from those. For a film, that might be plenty. I'm not going to tell you that you have to stick to stories about Israelis.

African American speak from the hood isn't all that difficult or mysterious. It mostly involves... Well, I'm not going to tell you. My lips are sealed.

Good luck. I suppose one possibility is that you go ahead and try it. Then, post it here, let folks scrutinize it and help you shape it into something passable, if necessary.
 
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